Is Victoria Falls safe?
Victoria Falls, the most stunning natural wonder in the world is located on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia and attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world each year to witness its breathtaking beauty.
Victoria Falls is a popular destination for adventure seekers, nature lovers, and anyone looking to experience the magnificent power of nature. However, with any travel destination, safety concerns can arise.
After spending some time in Victoria Falls as a volunteer and also having an enjoyable holiday here, I can tell you that Victoria Falls is a very safe place. Of course, you need to behave responsibly and use common sense like when you travel anywhere in the world.
In this post, I will tell you about the safety concerns of visiting Victoria Falls, including the potential risks and precautions you can take to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.
So, if you’re planning a visit to Victoria Falls, keep reading to find out everything you need to know about staying safe during your trip.
Is Victoria Falls Safe? (Dos and Don’ts)
Even though Victoria Falls is located in Zambia and Zimbabwe, it needs to be viewed as a separate place. The capital cities of Zimbabwe and Zambia may not be as safe as Victoria Falls, due to political situations, strikes, and crimes.
Victoria Falls and its surrounding areas are known for their serene and tranquil atmosphere, and tourism is a significant contributor to the country’s economy. Local people are very nice and friendly and the government has implemented various measures to safeguard the safety of tourists.
However, it is important to be aware of certain safety precautions to ensure that your trip to Victoria Falls is both enjoyable and safe.
Crime in Victoria Falls
Even though crime in Victoria Falls does exist, it is very low compared to some other countries in the world.
We were walking in Livingstone town and surrounding village, in Victoria Falls town and crossing the bridge from Zambia to Zimbabwe, all during the day and we felt completely safe.
Compared to some other African countries, like Kenya for example, I felt totally safe. Yes, we were approached by taxi drivers who offered us a drive. If you want to use their service, just negotiate the price. If you don’t want to, just say nicely no and thank them for the offer.
You can also be approached by sales vendors who would like to sell you souvenirs. You don’t have to be scared of them, they are local people trying to earn money for themselves.
In case you feel harassed by any of them, look out for Tourism police who wear yellow vests and look after the safety of the tourists.
In order to stay safe from any crime or pickpocketing, remember to follow these rules.
– Keep your valuables locked in the safe of your hotel room.
– Keep your bag in front or next to you, not on your back, and have your camera on a stripe.
– Don’t walk around with flashy jewelry that would get unwanted attention. Anyway, you are coming to Africa, you don’t need expensive watches, necklaces, and rings. The best is to keep them at home.
– Dress appropriately. Don’t wear very short shorts, skirts or dresses.
– Don’t walk on the streets at night.
Wildlife in Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls is not only famous for its stunning waterfalls and beautiful scenery but also for its abundant and diverse wildlife. While staying in Victoria Falls whether on Zambia’s or Zimbabwe’s side, you are inside the National Park, home to wild animals.
You are in their natural habitat, therefore you should respect it and behave responsibly and with care. You can easily see baboons walking on the streets, but also elephants, zebras, giraffes, or hippos can come close to the lodges. We experienced them all.
You will always receive safety information from your accommodation and you should never walk on the streets at night where there is a bigger chance to meet one of the dangerous animals.
Follow these precautions to stay safe from wildlife.
– If you need to go somewhere at night, always use a taxi.
– When you go for a game drive, always take the tour with a reputable agency.
– During the game drive, always follow the rules from your guide.
– On the game drive, wear natural-colored clothes, not shiny and bright colors.
– If you drive and you meet any animal on the street, stop the car and let them pass.
– Don’t try to feed the baboons.
– When in nature, never walk into the high grass, walk only on the path due to poisonous snakes like black mambas.
Swimming in Victoria Falls
You are probably wondering whether you are reading it correctly: “Swimming in Victoria Falls?” Don’t worry your eyes are totally fine.
While swimming in Victoria Falls or in the Zambezi River would be suicide, there is a place where you can go with a tour company only. These places are called Angel’s Pool and Devil’s Pool.
Devil’s Pool is bigger than Angel’s Pool and can be entered only during the dry season when the water level is low. To get to the Devil’s pool you need to swim a little bit inside the Zambezi River. The tour guides will check for hippos and crocodiles first before you can enter. You can read about our experience in Devil’s Pool here.
To stay safe during your swimming experience in Victoria Falls, follow these rules.
– Always book these tours with a reputable company. There is only one company that is allowed to take tourists there.
– Pay attention to the safety briefing you receive from the guides and follow it.
– Don’t lean too much on the edge of Devil’s Pool.
– The rocks are slippery, so be careful while moving there. Wear a pair of shoes while going to Devil’s or Angel’s Pool.
– Don’t put your hands inside the Zambezi River if you are on the boat.
– Never swim in the Zambezi River or walk next to it.
Malaria in Victoria Falls
Unfortunately, there is Malaria present in Victoria Falls even though it is not as bad as in some other African countries. Before you travel to Victoria Falls, you should discuss it with your doctor if you have some health problems.
The presence of mosquitoes is higher during the rainy season than during the dry season. Also, they are mostly out in the evenings or early in the morning and next to the rivers.
All hotels and lodges have mosquito nets above the beds and rooms are sprayed with a spray to repel the mosquitoes. However, if you are staying in rural areas, or coming for a volunteer job like we did, bring your own mosquito net.
To stay safe from mosquito bites, follow these rules.
– Always bring mosquito spray with high repellent with you.
– In case you are coming during the rainy season and you are afraid of mosquitoes, you can bring antimalarial tablets as well.
– In the evenings and early mornings wear long trousers and sleeves to protect yourself from the bites.
– Sleep under the mosquito net.
Tap water in Victoria Falls
Even though they are saying that tap water is safe, never drink tap water even if you are staying in a luxurious hotel. You can never be sure of that. You can use it to boil it for your tea or coffee, otherwise never drink it.
The water here is different than the water in your home country. It can be richer in minerals and your stomach may not like it. You don’t want to have a ruined holiday because of drinking water.
There are grocery shops where you can buy bottled water and you will probably receive some bottles in your hotel room.
For those with sensitive stomachs, be also careful with fruits and vegetables. It is safer to wash it with bottled water.
FAQs: Is Victoria Falls safe?
Now you know what to do and not to do in Victoria Falls in order to stay safe. Here are some more questions you may have.
When is the best time to visit Victoria Falls?
You can visit Victoria Falls anytime during the year. However, choosing the best time for your visit depends on the activities you would like to do.
Some activities can’t be done during the rainy season when water is high. For more details, check my article When is the best time to visit Victoria Falls here.
How long should I stay in Victoria Falls?
As long as you can. Victoria is an amazing place with lots to see and explore, so you need enough time not to be sad you didn’t stay longer. Minimum one week, no less for sure. Check out my article How long to stay in Victoria Falls here.
Is it safe to walk around Victoria Falls town?
Walking around Victoria Falls town as well as Livingstone town is safe during the day. However, it is not safe during the night. Not only because of people but mostly because of wildlife.
Conclusion: Is Victoria Falls Safe?
In conclusion, Victoria Falls is a safe destination for tourists, provided that necessary safety precautions are taken. The Zimbabwean and Zambian governments have taken measures to ensure the safety and security of visitors to the area.
However, when visiting Victoria Falls you should remain aware of the surroundings and follow the guidance of experienced guides to minimize any potential risks.
Overall, the incredible natural beauty of Victoria Falls and the warm hospitality of the local people make it an unforgettable destination that is well worth visiting.
With a bit of caution and common sense, you can enjoy a safe and memorable trip to one of the most magnificent natural wonders in the world.